Benyamin Netanyahu’s international justice, reviewed and corrected

The International Criminal Court is reportedly in the process of issuing arrest warrants against leaders of Israel and its armed forces. For the moment, it is a rumor that the Prime Minister of the Hebrew State, Benjamin Netanyahu, takes seriously enough to tackle it in a video message addressed “to the leaders of the free world” on April 30. And that’s it!

“You have to hear this to believe it!” The International Criminal Court in The Hague is considering issuing arrest warrants for Israeli government officials and military officials as war criminals. »

At this time, the International Criminal Court (ICC) has not made such an announcement, but the possibility of charges being filed or an arrest warrant being issued does not come out of the blue. The Court’s prosecutor, Karim Khan, a British jurist, has been investigating the situation in the Palestinian territories since taking office in 2021. While he has reasonable grounds to believe that individuals have committed crimes that fall under the jurisdiction of the ICC, he can ask the body to summon a person to appear or issue an arrest warrant. Among the crimes covered by this court located in The Hague, we find crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and the crime of aggression.

“It would be a scandal of historic proportion. International bodies like the International Criminal Court were created in the wake of the Holocaust committed against the Jewish people. They were set up to prevent these kinds of horrors, to prevent future genocides. »

The International Criminal Court, which is independent of the United Nations, only saw the light of day in 2002. That said, its creation follows several major trials that took place from the Second World War, such as those of the leaders Nazis in Nuremberg. The most direct ancestors of the ICC are the special tribunals set up in the 1990s to try those responsible for atrocities in Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia. These experiences led to the negotiations of the Rome Statute to establish a permanent tribunal. To date, 124 countries – including Canada – have agreed to be subject to the Court’s jurisdiction. The United States and Israel are not included.

“But today the International Court is trying to put Israel in the dock… as we defend ourselves against terrorists and genocidal regimes – Iran, of course – who are openly working to destroy the only Jewish state.” .

The ICC does not put countries in the dock. This role is that of the International Court of Justice (ICJ), which is also located in The Hague. It is also before the ICJ that South Africa launched proceedings against the State of Israel, which it accuses of violating the Genocide Convention. The Criminal Court of Justice, for its part, targets individuals – leaders, soldiers, militia leaders and other actors – who are suspected of committing atrocities, of having given the order or of being complicit in them. Among those who have been the subject of an arrest warrant recently is Russian President Vladimir Putin for his alleged role in the illegal transfer of Ukrainian children to Russia. The former Sudanese president, Omar al-Bashir, has been the subject of an arrest warrant since 2009. These arrest warrants have never been executed, but prevent the people targeted from traveling in the countries which fall under the control of the ICC, notes Marina Sharpe, professor of international studies at the Royal Military College of Saint-Jean. “They become, in a way, pariahs of the international community,” believes the international law expert.

“By targeting Israel, the International Criminal Court would target all democracies because it would undermine their inherent right to defend themselves against brutal terrorism and wanton aggression. »

The ICC in no way limits a country’s right to defend itself, but this right is governed by international law, in particular by the Hague and Geneva conventions, which determine the law of war, but also international law. humanitarian aid aimed at protecting victims of conflict and civilians not taking part in the fighting. One of the main criticisms of the Court is that it has to date too often spared the leaders of the great Western democracies.

“Clearly, this threat by the International Criminal Court is not an attempt to enforce the law. Israel is not even subject to the court’s jurisdiction and has an independent judiciary that rigorously investigates all violations of the law. »

The Court has already established that it has jurisdiction over the Palestinian territories, which, through the United Nations, ratified the Rome Statute in 2015. Persons who commit crimes on the territory of the member state or who are from this State are subject to tax. In principle therefore, both Israeli leaders and soldiers as well as Hamas leaders and fighters – whether in the Gaza Strip or abroad – can be the subject of accusations and a warrant of arrest. stop. If a national court brings the wrongdoers to justice, it takes precedence over the ICC.

“Israel expects the leaders of the free world to stand against the International Criminal Court’s outrageous attack on Israel’s right to defend itself. We expect them to use all means at their disposal to stop this dangerous maneuver. »

The attack in this case comes from Benjamin Netanyahu who attacks a court which has not yet announced anything. Not surprisingly, the United States has already sided with Israel, but its credibility is undermined by the fact that it has not ratified the Rome Statute and was happy to see the Russian president targeted by an arrest warrant last year.

“Six months after the terrible Hamas massacre of October 7, 80 years after the horrors of the Holocaust, the Jewish State calls on decent people everywhere to reject this scandal by the ICC and to stand with Israel as we fight against the barbarians of Hamas and Iran and as we work to build a more peaceful world. »

A more peaceful world? Sigh !

Watch Benyamin Netanyahu’s message on X (in English, short version)

Watch the long version of Benyamin Netanyahu’s message on X (in English)


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